Vaccine names have never really been a hot topic in Canada, because, for example, why would they be? All that most people care about is that their inoculations are safe, available, and effective.
After all, there isn’t much to say. It’s not like all vaccines have splashy nicknames like âSpikeVaxâ, or confusing jibberish labels with old-fashioned British butler name vibes like âComirnatyâ or anything.
Except it’s like this – exactly, like this, thanks to the formal authorization from Health Canada to change the name of the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
The federal government announced Thursday morning that in the future, the Pfizer vaccine will now be named Comirnaty. Moderna will now carry the brand name SpikeVax, and AstraZeneca will now be “Vaxzevria”.
– Don Falconer (@TheFalconer) September 16, 2021
People from across the country have been appearing on Twitter since news of this name change authorization was dropped, many to express disbelief that these names are real.
I thought it was a joke, but hey. (name changes for vaccines)
Comirnaty – aka Pfizer vaccine
SpikeVax – aka Moderna vaccine
Vaxzevria – aka AstraZeneca vaccine https://t.co/j5LGtk5u7E
– ð¨ð¦ðCheryl X2 Vaccinatedðð¨ð¦CANADAðð¨ð¦ (@mini_bubbly) September 16, 2021
There are now thousands of really hilarious responses to the original Health Canada thread.
Health Canada wants you to choose your starter! ðð Comirnatyð, SpikeVaxð¥ or Vaxzevriað§? https://t.co/cCekV6YRmk pic.twitter.com/EDuAKT2tWp
– Dr Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) September 16, 2021
“Comirnaty” seems to get the most attention of the three, because like … what does that mean?
Comirnaty sounds like an adjective that would describe these two: https://t.co/tdbBQQNMuN pic.twitter.com/PlotOCcwQR
– Jess MacInnis (@JessMacInnis) September 16, 2021
According to The Verge, the comirnaty is meant to be a coat of arms for the words community, immunity, COVID-19 and mRNA.
No idea how Comirnaty left the newsgroup.
– Scott M. (@apukwa) September 16, 2021
Twitter doesn’t pick up on what Pfizer files, however – most people seem to think that is pure gibberish.
The Comirnaty looks like a villainous secret organization in a self-published sci-fi novel https://t.co/VlsSO3rnWy
– Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) September 16, 2021
Some say it sounds a bit like “commie” and no one knows how to pronounce it. If you lean heavily on the “i” and soften the “a”, it could theoretically sound like “Come here, naughty”.
let’s go have a beer at the Comirnaty’s girl
– Borges how are you? (@meh_just_a_guy) September 16, 2021
SpikeVax, which looks like something you might find in a convenience store next to Monster Energy Drink, also generates a lot of buzz.
[Internal Marketing Meeting at Moderna]
Marketer 1: ok, we will finally be able to name our vaccine[light applause]
and we have to keep in mind that some people are afraid of needles, so we have to be sensitive-
Marketing 2: SPIKEVAX[wild cheers, heavy metal riff] https://t.co/u9OGNXdqtM
– Chork (@cdgoldstein) September 16, 2021
Moderna’s extreme sounding name is compared to that of a revival band riot grrl, a Pokemon starter, a superhero and a “A muscle stimulant the evil gang uses in a 1992 action movie straight to VHS C-movie, “among others.
Moderna: I no longer answer “Moderna”, my name will henceforth be SpikeVax, The Virus Slayer!
Everyone: of course Moderna, whoever the guy is https://t.co/TUFDFokePJ
– Ian Young (@ ianjamesyoung70) September 16, 2021
And AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria sounds to many like a character from a fantasy novel or a Russian femme fatale.
The black wyrm Vaxzevria Scorched Wing has tormented this land for as long as even the ancients can remember and Comirnaty the wise bird-headed will reveal to the hero foretold the resting place of SpikeVax, the only spear that can pierce the scales of The Scorched Wing https: //t.co/owt35kDiAe
– Nels Anderson (@Nelsormensch) September 16, 2021
Jokes abound, but people also have serious concerns that the government is approving new names at this point, as many provinces struggle to get more people vaccinated.
People who are afraid of getting the vaccine are sure to be convinced now with heartwarming names like “SpikeVax” and “Vaxzevria” https://t.co/0LWXbrugoa
– Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) September 16, 2021
“Why the hell would you allow vaccine confusion right now?” And who the hell thinks Vaxzevria, SpikeVax or Comirnaty are good brands? ” a Twitter user asked. “Vaxzevria and Comirnaty sound like names for vaccine side effects.”
Health workers: people are dying from disinformation! Intensive care units are filling up with unvaccinated people! 7 million eligible Canadians are still not fully immunized!
Health Canada: Why don’t we allow COVID vaccines to be renamed to Comirnaty, SpikeVax and Vaxzevria?
Wait what? ??
– Dr Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) September 16, 2021
In the spirit of calling things by what we know them as, many Toronto residents are now committing to ‘SkyDome’ vaccine names – as in, call them as we’ve always called them, from the the same way most people still refer to Rogers Center as the SkyDome.
The iconic retractable roof stadium was renamed after it was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2005.
I really hope this will be a Skydome situation where we keep calling them the original names instead of the terrible new names https://t.co/8qC26R2CQM
– Tyler Clark Burke (@tylerclarkburke) September 16, 2021
“No fucking way,” joked a local in response to Health Canada’s tweet. “Good Canadians will always call those SkyDome, Simpsons, and MuchMusic, thank you very much.”
Plus I always say SkyDome https://t.co/9e8wA32EHX
– Rob Del Mundo (@Rob_DelMundo) September 16, 2021
Although they will have new brand names, Health Canada says there are no changes to the vaccines themselves.
“All COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada have been shown to be safe, effective and of high quality,” writes the Department of Health.
The only real difference for consumers now is telling people if you are part of the SpikeVax, Comirnaty or Vaxzevria team. If you have a mix of plans, you can choose something like “I’m a SpixeVax with Cominarty on the rise”, or the simple “I have a mix of Moderna and Pfizer”.